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Recent Research Found That Playing An Instrument Or Singing Throughout Your Life Contributes To Improved Memory And Executive Function In Old Age

Moreover, the study pointed out that singing, possibly enhanced by the communal aspects of choir involvement, is linked to better brain health.

“Our PROTECT study has given us a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between cognitive performance and music in a large cohort of older adults. Overall, we think that being musical could be a way of harnessing the brain’s agility and resilience, known as cognitive reserve,” said Professor Anne Corbett, an expert in dementia research at the University of Exeter.

“Although more research is needed to investigate this relationship, our findings indicate that promoting musical education would be a valuable part of public health initiatives to promote a protective lifestyle for brain health, as would encouraging older adults to return to music in later life.”

One 78-year-old accordionist from Cornwall named Stuart Douglas is a firm advocate for the mental benefits of playing music after observing its positive effects on the mental acuity of himself and his bandmates.

Stuart, who plays in the Cober Valley Accordion Band and participates in the Cornish Division of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, regularly performs at Memory Cafés. These cafés are designed to assist people with dementia and their caregivers.

He first picked up the accordion as a young man and then maintained his musical passion throughout his career in law enforcement.

“These days, I still play regularly, and playing in the band also keeps my calendar full, as we often perform in public. We regularly play at memory cafes, so we have seen the effect that our music has on people with memory loss, and as older musicians ourselves, we have no doubt that continuing with music into older age has played an important role in keeping our brains healthy,” Stuart explained.

To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, visit the link here.

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